Kronborg Castle is among the few places in the world that is accompanied by so much drama and heritage. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is best known as the set for Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet.

The Royal castle of Kronborg at Elsinore is of enormous symbolic importance to the Danish people and did play a significant role in the history of northern Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries.

It is situated on a pivotal site leading the Sund, the fjord between Denmark and Sweden. It was formerly the residence of kings and queens, a formidable castle with outposts and gun batteries that commanded the sea in the narrowest part between Sweden and Denmark.


The History Of Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle was built in 1420 by Eric of Pomerania to guard the entry to Oresund and receive the profitable Sound Charges from passing vessels.

Frederik II erected Kronborg Palace, a beautiful Renaissance castle, between 1574 and 1585 as a striking symbol of riches and power. Sailors, traders, ambassadors, and nobles spoke about the magnificent castle and court at Elsinore with its majesty and grandeur during the golden era of Kronborg Castle in the late 1600s. In 1629, a terrible fire demolished Kronborg Castle, leaving just the chapel intact.

Christian IV restored the castle with lavish new Baroque decorations, but in 1658, the Swedes bombed and seized Kronborg, taking many valuable art items as loot.

Christian V built Kronborg as a fortress with Kronevrket in 1690, but the castle has not been occupied by the royal family ever since. The castle was used by the army from 1785 to 1923 and was fully renovated and brought back to glory.

RELATED: Why Leeds Castle Is Called The Loveliest Castle In The World

The Connection Between Shakespeare And Kronborg Castle

When Shakespeare wrote his classic play about the king's son Hamlet, he utilized Kronborg, and the castle is now recognized around the globe as Hamlet's Castle.

Although no one knows for definite whether Shakespeare actually visited Kronborg Castle, he was clearly aware of the court's lavish lifestyle.

During Shakespeare's era, British artists were said to visit Kronborg on multiple occasions. Every August, a Shakespeare Fest with outdoor theatre and the castle as a setting takes place at Kronborg Castle.

Kronborg Castle Highlights

The Renaissance castle rises impressively with its turrets, spires, pillars, sandstone, and copper ceilings.

Visitors can explore Frederik II's opulent ballroom, marvel at the exquisite tapestries, and meet the mythological character of Holger the Dane in the castle's crypt.

The Inner Courtyard

Kronborg Castle's inner courtyard is in its core. The courtyard is centered on the remnants of a fountain looted by the Swedes during their raid. The gun tower, the kitchens entry, the dungeons, and the church are all visible from here.

There are also board games that were employed hundreds of years ago, in a nook of the courtyard, like stilts that are accessible to tourists who want to try their luck at a tough walk.

The Royal Appartments

These lovely chambers were where the royals stayed during their visit to Kronborg. The quarters were built for King Frederick II when the fortification was renovated into Kronborg Castle in 1629 but were later remodeled for King Christian IV following the fire of 1629.

The rooms still have furnishings that offer a fair understanding of how they were utilized and big murals that depict rural life on the ceilings. The majority of the rooms include a fireplace for heating.

The Ballroom

The tour of Kronborg Castle's Royal Quarters concludes in the magnificent ballroom, which measures 62 meters in length and was formerly the biggest ballroom in Scandinavia. Big windows that bathe the space with natural light combine with large wall paintings, and two thrones are set at the far end of the chamber. To go into the ballroom, visitors stroll down a passage that was essentially exclusively for women, allowing them to access the ballroom without needing to leave their delicate footwear outside.

The King's Tapestries

The chambers that store the king's tapestries are located across the Royal Apartments' entryway. These rooms are also outfitted with wooden furnishings and oak floors.

Heavy tapestries adorn the walls, featuring seven originals from a sequence of forty tapestries depicting a total of one hundred Danish kings.

The Castle Church

Kronborg's modest castle church is small and concealed behind the entrance door, which should be kept shut in all circumstances.

The intricately carved wooden furniture sitting on the black and white checkerboard floor adds to the chapel's lavishly carved and colorful Renaissance furnishings.

Kronborg Church was built in 1582 and is the only section of the fortress that survived the fire of 1629. Visiting this small chapel gives visitors a clear impression of what the design of the entire castle was like before the disastrous fire.

The Dungeons

The dungeons, which extend beneath the entire castle, are gloomy and wet rooms. The tour starts with a visit to the Ogier the Dane sculpture, which is illuminated sporadically.

Ogier is a famous Danish character who is claimed to live in Kronborg Castle. Ogier sleeps peacefully at Kronborg Castle and will remain so until Denmark is in peril, at which point he will awaken to intercede and save the nation.

The casemates are a bleak environment that served as a storage facility and a refuge for soldiers. Modest oil lamps along the entryway provide Lighting.

RELATED: Buda Castle: Is The Icon Of Budapest & Hungary Worth Visiting?

Admission Ticket Charges

  • Adults - $14
  • Students - $12
  • Children (under 18 years) - Free

The interiors and facades of Kronborg Castle are very breathtaking. Visitors would be fascinated by the history and splendor of the Danish kings who once resided here. This castle will appeal to history geeks, Shakespeare fans, and architecture admirers.

NEXT: Malahide Castle: Ireland's Home To Ghosts, Butterflies, & Gardens